Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
18 September 2008

Feverish Speculation

Let's all calm down and get a bit of perspective

By Martin Bright

Such is the viciousness of the briefing about the Labour leadership that it’s all too easy to jump to conclusions. It all got very nasty last week, especially when details of a harrassment complaint about health minister Ivan Lewis were leaked. So it was that I found myself in conversation with a former cabinet minister and champion of Gordon Brown about David Cairns, the Scottish Office minister who resigned on Tuesday. This northern bruiser whispered down the phone: “You realise he used to work for Madonna don’t you? And you know what that means.” I thought this was a new low in the briefing wars. Could he seriously be saying that Cairns shouldn’t be taken seriously because he was gay.
When I reported my horror to the NS editorial meeting this morning a kindly soul pointed out that I was possibly reading a little too much into the words of my deep throat: “McDonagh Martin. He meant that Cairns used to work for Siobhain McDonagh.”

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action